Reacting to the "Halo Killer" Daniel Petric's Conviction
Read that article first to get the facts about this case. I'll summarize since most probably won't. The kid was suffering from a severe infection of some kind that kept him bedridden. He played a lot of Halo 3. His father, a minister, discovered the game was violent. He took the game away from his son. His son hatches plot to murder parents and frame father.
Not a very uplifting story, is it?
Not something you'd want to trivialize, by say.. Accusing the videogame of putting the murderer in a frame of mind where he was not in control of his actions, right?
That's exactly what Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge did, however.
Judge James Burge said he would have liked to find the 17-year-old, who was tried as an adult, not guilty by reason of insanity, but the law wouldn’t allow him to do so.
That's not too unreasonable - the kid was out of his mind, most likely with rage over having something he very much enjoyed taken away, and frustration at his parents. Not uncommon for a 17 year old who's had the pacifier taken away. Most 17 year olds just take the car without asking or do something stupid and reckless to property.
This kid hatched a plot to kill, and a plot to get away with it. That almost exactly sounds like premeditated murder to me.
“(In the game) you can shoot these aliens, and they’re there again the next day. You have to shoot them again, and I firmly believe that Daniel Petric had no idea, at the time he hatched this plot, that if he killed his parents they would be dead forever,” Burge said.
I'm guessing this is what much of the defense's arguement hinged on. Daniel's suppossed disconnection from reality and belief that since death was not permanent in the game, it was not permanent in real life.
This conflicts with the facts of the story - Daniel not only planned to murder his parents, but knew exactly why it was a bad thing to do and how bad it was. This is shown by his plot to make it look like a murder-suicide and blame the whole thing on his father. He likely saw the plot as a way to get revenge on his father for taking the game away.
Such a grisly, tragic thing probably should not be so trivialized, right? Someone in such a position of authority probably shouldn't insinuate that the game, not Daniel's twisted mind made this atrocity seem like a reasonable thing to do. Someone in such a position of authority probably shouldn't say things that would lead other, possibly more sinsister murderers to hide behind videogames as a defense, right?
Burge also noted that he believes further study of the effects of video games on the brain will eventually go far enough that it will be a valid defense to crimes and that those who suffer from it will receive mental health treatment.
This is the most bizarre part of the story. It's pretty much telling defense attorneys and anyone needing a good coverup for a murder- Hey, if you play videogames, well, you couldn't be blamed or your actions, you just didn't know people stay dead when they die, let's go get you some help.
Hopefully Burge's statements are as incredulous to the majority of people as they are to me. To say that videogames are a strong enough contributor to murderous intent as to be a defense in a court of law is a heinous statement and one that Burge should be ashamed of.
It seems if Burge had his way, it wouldn't be long before "The Devil made me do it" becomes "The Videogame made me do it". Daniel Petric deserves to waste away the rest of his life in prison for his actions. No one can be blamed except him. No one else made him take that gun and pull the trigger.
Here's a video of the judge reacting to the trial. He seems a bit more rational in his statements here, but still is off base about what made the kid do it. He does admit that the court does not know enough, at least.
It starts to go a little crazy at the point where he makes a connection between Videogames' success mechanisms and the effects of cocaine on the brain. The same could be said of any sports contest or board game, certainly.
Make sure to watch past the 5-7 min mark - he does place society as a whole at blame beyond videogames as well, to be fair. I'd agree with him there.
|Comments (Total Comments: 7)|
|The Crotch - 01-13-2009, 03:58 PM|
|Nathan_Sama - 01-13-2009, 04:33 PM|
|paddlefoot - 01-13-2009, 04:38 PM|
|Jerajdai - 01-13-2009, 04:45 PM|
|robbway - 01-13-2009, 05:20 PM|
|jer7583 - 01-13-2009, 05:33 PM|
|mykevermin - 01-13-2009, 05:43 PM|
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